Newswise — SAN FRANCISCO (April 9, 2014) — With Americans spending an estimated $850 billion annually on ineffective medical treatment, the need for quality registries has become central to emerging evidence-driven reforms. And while many studies have demonstrated the efficacy of various surgical procedures for spinal disorders, few have examined their effectiveness in real-world settings or at the individual level.

A team of researchers led by Anthony L. Asher, MD, FAANS, has reviewed a nationwide, prospective, longitudinal outcomes database that measures the safety and effectiveness of everyday neurosurgical spine care. Using standardized sampling and linear regression, the team sought to identify predictors of 12-month surgical outcomes for lumbar disc herniation and spondylolisthesis.

Dr. Asher presented the team’s findings today during the 82nd Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS).

The study, known as The National Neurosurgery Quality and Outcomes Database(N2QOD): Predictors of Persistent 12 month Disability Following Lumbar Surgery, revealed that while lumbar surgery for disc herniation and spondylolisthesis is highly effective in the real-world setting, a significant subset of patients does not report improved disability scores at 12 months.

Great variability in outcomes exists at the individual patient level, said Dr. Asher: “This variability has been observed at all participating centers, in all diagnoses, and in all procedures included in the registry. Making sense of this variability — specifically, determining the combined contribution of patient characteristics and other variables to specific clinical outcomes — will produce tremendous benefit for surgeons, their patients and other health-care stakeholders.”

Disclosure: The author reported the following disclosures prior to the 82nd AANS Annual Scientific Meeting: Hyperbranch Medical Technologies; Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies; Medtronic.

Media Representatives: The 2014 AANS Annual Meeting Press Kit includes releases on highlighted scientific research, AANS officer and award winners, National Neurosurgery Awareness Week, and other relevant information about this year’s program. Those releases also will be posted under the Media area on the 2014 AANS Annual Scientific Meeting website ( Meeting/2014/Main/Media.aspx). If you would have interest in a topic related to neurosurgery or would like to interview a neurosurgeon — either onsite or via telephone — during this year’s event, please contact John Iwanski, AANS Director of Integrated Marketing and Website Communications, via the onsite press room at 415.978.3603 or e-mail him at [email protected]

About the 2014 AANS Annual Scientific Meeting: Attended by neurosurgeons, neurosurgical residents, medical students, neuroscience nurses, clinical specialists, physician assistants, allied health professionals and other medical professionals, the AANS Annual Scientific Meeting is the largest gathering of neurosurgeons in the nation, with an emphasis on the field’s latest research and technological advances. A record-breaking 1,321 scientific abstracts were presented for review at the 2014 AANS Annual Scientific Meeting, and the scientific presentations given at this year’s event represent cutting-edge examples of the incredible developments taking place within the field of neurosurgery. Additional information about the AANS Annual Scientific Meeting and the Meeting Program can be found at Meeting/2014/Main/Home.aspx.

Founded in 1931 as the Harvey Cushing Society, the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) is a scientific and educational association with nearly 8,600 members worldwide. The AANS is dedicated to advancing the specialty of neurological surgery in order to provide the highest quality of neurosurgical care to the public. All active members of the AANS are certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgery, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons (Neurosurgery) of Canada or the Mexican Council of Neurological Surgery, AC. Neurological surgery is the medical specialty concerned with the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of disorders that affect the entire nervous system including the spinal column, spinal cord, brain and peripheral nerves. For more information, visit ###